Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Employer Branding Tips from Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Ever dream of being in demand, with great talent flocking to your company and begging to talk to you in a video interview?

Look no further than mega-sale days Black Friday and Cyber Monday for pointers on achieving this. At one point, just ordinary days after Thanksgiving, the days are universally recognized in the United States as the time Americans open their checkbooks and spend, spend, spend.

You might not be able to convince talented candidates to line up around the block from your company like they do outside a Best Buy, but there are some valuable lessons you can learn from how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have branded themselves as the go-to holiday shopping days for consumers.

If you want to improve your employer brand to pull in the best candidates, here are some lessons you can learn from the biggest holiday shopping days:

Show Your Value
The reason consumers form giant lines to get the latest appliances isn’t because it’s fun to sit out in the cold, it’s because stores are giving a real value by dramatically slashing prices. Black Friday has marketed itself as the best time for consumers to get big ticket items for unthinkable prices. This is why people brave crazy early morning hours, traffic, and the crush of people in order to search for the best deals. By showing they are willing to give consumers a big value, stores manage to pack their aisles with shoppers on Friday morning.

Likewise, to pack your applicant pool with talented people you’ll need to show off your company’s value. You might not be able to offer consumers huge discounts on a flat screen like a great Black Friday sale, but you can show just how valuable a job at your company can truly be. When developing your branding strategy, don’t be afraid to show off your company culture.

If you have great benefits, make sure they’re mentioned on your career website or even in the job description. Use the video interview as a place where you can stress the positive company culture you’ve cultivated. The reason talent flocks to big companies like Amazon and Google is because they’re both highly regarded and have prominent, attractive company cultures. Highlight what makes your company great and candidates will be lining up around the block for a chance to work there.

Get Digital
What, exactly, is Cyber Monday? While Black Friday has been around since at least the 1950s, Cyber Monday burst onto the scene in 2005. Branding Cyber Monday as the best day to do all your online shopping wasn’t hard. After the name was coined the day began to take off, and by 2011 consumers spent $1.25 billion on Cyber Monday alone, according to comScore.

Cyber Monday has proven companies ignore online branding at their own peril. Some of the best candidates can now be found online, whether on the other side of a webcam in a video interview or by utilizing social media to connect with employers.

Employers should make sure they’re embracing the digital environment in order to get the candidates necessary to survive and thrive in today’s idea-based economy. Besides, using your web presence and social media channels is a great way to brand your company as a forward-thinking place to be, which will in turn attract the kind of tech-savvy candidates you need.

Love the Early Bird
On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the early bird usually gets the worm when it comes to great deals and low prices. If you’re the first in the store, you’ll most likely be getting the low-priced big ticket item you’ve been dreaming of. The same goes for online sales, which often sell out or are only open for a limited amount of time, like Amazon’s “Lightning Deals.”

For your hiring strategy, you might want want to think about rewarding the early bird as well. Perhaps the first few qualified resumes coming into your inbox are the people with the most passion for your open position or for your company.

If you limit your hiring time frame, you’ll have less candidates to sort through. This will allow you to really focus on the talent you do have in the video interview and during the hiring process. Plus, it will help you brand your company as a place where candidates actually hear back and resumes don’t just fall into a black hole.

Using Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a guide, you can improve your employer brand so the best candidates are willing to line up around the block for a chance to work for your company.

What are some lessons you can learn from Black Friday and Cyber Monday to improve your employer brand? Share in the comments! 

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Gerard Stolk.

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).